So you want to teach in China! Great! You’ve already embraced the spirit of adventure. However, there are a few obstacles that you will face on your journey. For one, you are moving to an entirely new country with a new set of rules and regulations. Before you even pack your bags, familiarize yourself with the do’s and don’ts. This way you can avoid any potential negative situations. Two, there will be an adjusting period which can fall into a numerous amount of categories: from your living situation, to transportation, to teaching in the classroom. Once you have acquired these skills then you must also be able to teach children in ways that keep them motivated, focused and ready to learn. But have no fear! EF is here and provide you with all the information, skills and services you need to adapt and (most importantly) teach. There are a few things that cannot be taught by others though,, it must be self-learned. Here are the top five personality traits you need to teach English in China!
Patience in something that a lot of us have challenges with. We are living in a world where the gap between want and time are becoming shorter and faster. To put things simply, technology is allowing us to have things when want it without us needing to wait for it too long. With this in mind, it is making it slightly harder and harder to practice patience. But I must reiterate the necessity and importance of this characteristic. You will need to place patience into practice when you settle in China. When you arrive at your center you may feel rushed or overloaded with information. This is when you should be patient with yourself. Finally, there WILL be children and people who will challenge you in the classroom and in the work environment. This is when you should practice patience with others.
2. Determination/ Perseverance
We all know what determination is, if you didn’t have it you wouldn’t have a degree. But for the sake of this article I am obligated to tell you what this is. Determination is simply one’s ability to keep moving towards a goal when the odds seem rough. It is imperative that you have this skill when moving or settling in a new country. You can also apply this in the classroom when you are involved with children who are struggling with new material. This WILL happen (I can assure), but it is your job as an educator to attend to the needs of the child. I find this trait most useful when you feel that things are out of your control and you have done all that you can. It is important that you never give up, on the children and yourself. At the end of the day you reap the fruits of your own labor. Throughout life you are always faced with many difficulties, but if you keep pushing forward you are bound to succeed.
The ability to remove yourself from one’s situation (take a breather) is a trait that all should acquire. Perspective can allude to a healthy mind. At times we feel like the victims of hardships. The daunting feeling of being stacked with classes or assignments. You may even feel in brief moments that you would like to give up. But it is important in life to remember one’s fortune. There are so many people in this world who would give anything to live your life. When you are able to keep this in mind you will find ease and humility not only in your work but in your life. Always be mindful of this.
The fact that you want to teach in a different country and immerse yourself in an entirely different culture is evidence of your sense of adventure. This I a wonderful trait to have however, it should not stop at desire, it should continue even after you have achieved. Once you arrive at your destination and at your job you must continue to hold on to this sense of enthusiasm. This fire that sparked when you decided to come to China must not give out, it must grow. And with this flame one can refuel their desire to push forward and work hard not only for themselves, but for the children they are teaching. If you can run with this trait, you will find purpose, motivation and joy at your work.
5. People person/ Love for children/Empathy
Last but definitely not least, we should always practice and never forget empathy. The world does not run on your schedule, and no one will ever reach the standards that you hold them to. However, as a teacher, but more importantly as a student of life, you must learn to empathize with the people around you. Whether it is your coworkers or students, you must be able to place yourself in their shoes. Only through this we can begin to receive understanding. When we understand one another then compromises can manifest, through which solutions can be discovered.
These are just but a few of the traits one needs to have instilled in oneself if they wish to be successful as a teacher in China. But to be honest these traits and virtues that extend beyond that of the classroom. It is the way to truly go through life. If you can practice this every day I promise you will not only be successful at work, you will be successful at life. And as always, continue to explore, continue to discover and try everything. You never know what lies ahead!
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Post by Javier Chaney
Javier enjoys studying theology, culture and history. He is a self-proclaimed illustrator, writer and musician. He feels the world and its culture’s share far more similarities than differences. If one is given the opportunity to journey out beyond one’s comfort zone, it is their duty to share their learnings with others. Through empathy, patience and pure expression we cannot only progress in the right direction, we can solve global issues as well.